really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,223 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Toyota Sequoia brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #150

Oct 112017


  • 200,000 miles


So many problems with this vehicle, and a major problem not only with this vehicle but other years and models as well the paint bubbling and coming off the vehicle especially hood area and top of vehicle, has to be bad paint Toyota is using

- Moundville, AL, USA

problem #149

Aug 142016


  • 108,800 miles
I went outside and turned the car on and noticed that the ABS, vsc off, and vsc trac dashboard lights came on and did not turn off. I drove the vehicle around the block and the lights remained on. This is a known manufacturer defect with the computer that controls the ABS / vsc trac system on the 2003 Sequoia. I have had the computer modules replaced for this issue before and 60,000 miles later the same parts have gone out again. It is unsafe to drive an SUV with the vehicle skid control and ABS systems not functioning.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #148

Aug 012016


  • 163,500 miles
Skid control ECU issue...my 2003 recently started having a failure in the ECU and causing the vehicle's brakes to go into ABS mode randomly during acceleration and not stop properly when applying the brakes. The brake light, vsc off and trac off all go off and the brakes go out and almost cause me to wreck. I have read online that this has been an on-going issue with this vehicle, and I'm curious what Toyota is doing or not doing to fix this. I had the ECU recall "software upgrade" back in 2011. They only warrantied the work for 1 year, well now my computer is failing and replacement is $1500. This is a formal complaint because it seems that I could have had a replacement ECU years ago and I wasn't informed

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #147

Jul 312016


  • 180,000 miles


My vsc off and vsc trac lights popped on simultaneously with my check engine light, while traveling on straight, paved highway at about 55 mph, for no apparent reason. I was not braking when all lights suddenly appeared. I was cruising comfortably at highway speeds on straight, flat, paved road. I have read countless other complaints filed by other Toyota owners with the exact problem. My mechanic explained this can be very hazardous as this system cannot be disabled. So, these lights may pop on and off, and the vsc system may spontaneously engage without my knowledge or control, and this can greatly affect acceleration and cause accidents. I haven't done anything operationally to cause these lights to come on and I feel Toyota should accept responsibility for this defect which could have very strong safety implications.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #146

May 162016


  • miles
I just had to spend over 1,200 to have this repaired as my local Toyota dealership insisted it was routine ear and tear. My breaks would not work, and I just had new ones put on 09/2015, and the vsp light kept coming on and off. The car jumps, and something has not been right. I almost hit someone and had to use the emergency break to stop!

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #145

Aug 312015


  • 190,000 miles
I have a notice for revision "safety recall dsf". the recall says I need to bring in for air bag replacment for passanger front seats. So August 31,2015 I took my Sequoia to Toyota of knoxville tn. Off of parkside dr. It was looked over and I was told they needed to order parts and I would be called for the repairs once the parts came in to schedule an appointment. It is now May 23,2016 and I have not been contacted for repairs to be completed. Also the trac control button stopped working and lights on the dash. Was there a recal for this also?

- Walland, TN, USA

problem #144

Apr 012016


  • 167,000 miles


Hello, I have a 2003 Toyota sequioa where the engine light and the vcs lights are both on. I saw on your page some really helpful information on this make/model recall. I've reached out to Toyota customer service because there was a recall on this make/model but they said that my VIN number was not part of that recall, even though it's having the same issues?? the recall was that Toyota had to replace the skid control engine control unit (ECU) and upgrade program logic in its vehicle stability control (vcs) system. I took my vehicle in to get it inspected and they provided me with 3 codes: C1203 - engine control system communication circuit malfunction C1360 - vehicle skid control master pressure sensor malfunction P0420 - catalyst system efficiency below threshold these are all system issues. Can you help me?

- Sun Prairie, WI, USA

problem #143

Jan 122016


  • 272,590 miles
While I was driving at an approximate speed of 40 mph, I noticed my brake, trac off, vsc trac, engine light all came on at once. I noticed that braking was not as responsive (increased braking distance; ABS doesn't seem to be engaging) and when speeding to over 50 mph, the vehicle feels as if it is slowing itself down. It is currently an expected heavy rainfall season where I am and having the vehicle in this state is very dangerous especially when the brakes are not working effectively or when it starts to slow itself down suddenly. After shutting the vehicle down and restarting it after about 2 hours, the lights mentioned are still illuminated except the brake light. After reading all the other similar complaints, I am surprised Toyota is not paying for all aspects of this defect associated with the vehicle and not driver misuse.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #142

Jun 292011


  • miles
Vehicle stability control (vsc), traction control (trac), and antilock brake system (ABS) dash lights continuously illuminated indicating that all systems are off or malfunctioning. Can confirm that the trac, vsc, and ABS are inactive all or most of the time. The ABS intervenes at random under normal braking conditions without cause at low speed (less than 20mph) and makes braking difficult and inconsistent in conditions where ABS is not normally needed. In that situation the brake pedal becomes hard to depress and braking force is inconsistently applied with little control given to the operator in turn extending the braking distance without due cause or warning. After much research online I have found numerous reports stating identical and/or similar observations and experiences. It is my opinion that the problem lies in the vsc control module, a known problematic component on this generation of Sequoia and more specifically model year 2003 vehicles. A recall for the vsc system was issued in April/May 2010 upgrading the control logic of the vsc system in certain model year 2003 vehicles. Let it be known that the vehicle in question had the recall work done in June of 2011 which did not remedy the issue as it has been either intermittent or constant since then.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #141

Jul 102008


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that the vsc skid control warning light, ABS warning light, and service stability traction control warning light randomly kept illuminating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who reflashed the ECU, but the failure recurred. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer several times and they did not address the recall repair since mid 2008 to 2015. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for further inspection and diagnostic testing. The vehicle was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V286000 (air bags) and was waiting for the part from the dealer to receive the recall repair appointment. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000.

- Danbury, TX, USA

problem #140

Sep 082010


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving at an unknown speed, the warning lights for the ABS, traction control, and bsc illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the skit control needed to be reprogrammed. Also, the ECU and the translate computer assembly needed to be replaced. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 10V176000 (electronic stability control, traction control system); however, the part needed was not available. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Manalapan, NJ, USA

problem #139

Jan 012015


  • 217,995 miles
I purchased a used 2003 Toyota Sequoia in April 2014. Since that time, the vehicle stability control system vsc) activates randomly causing the anti-lock brakes to be applied at random. This was a minor annoyance at first but soon became a regular occurrence. When inclement weather hit in December 2014 this vehicle was unstable to drive in even light snow; even when I had it in 4 wheel drive. In January 2015, it was snowing and there was approximately 2 inches of snow on the road and the vehicle spun out of control into the opposite lane. It was late at night so there were no other cars on the road. The vehicle continued to slide intermittently on the rest of the drive home. The thing is that this vehicle has off-road tires and this combined with the 4 wheel drive system should make it extremely stable in any weather. In February 2015, my wife was driving with our children and the vehicle's brakes locked up in the middle of a two-way stop preventing it from moving forward. There were other vehicles approaching at a high rate of speed and they had to stop to prevent a collision. A question: What if there was snow on the road at that time? I April had my Sequoia looked at by vanderstyne Toyota in rochester NY and they found that the yaw rate senor had a short resulting in constant application of the vsc system and quoted me $660 to "fix" the issue. I proceeded to research this issue on the net and it appears to be widespread with owners of Toyota Sequoias, siennas and some 4 runners. And many of the owners who had the yaw rate sensor replaced continued to have the same issue. I will not have this work done if there is not a guarantee that it will fix it and the dealership would not guarantee this 100%. this is serious safety issue and I am in the process of filing a complaint with Toyota, BBB and the New York state attorney general office.

- Hilton , NY, USA

problem #138

Nov 142014


  • 150,000 miles
When accelerating from a stop and turning into/across traffic, the vehicle stability control (vsc) system activates improperly, causing loss of normal acceleration rate for approximately 3-10 sec (lower times are achieved by reducing pressure on the accelerator (counter intuitive when pulling into traffic) to get the system to deactivate. The activation is very intermittent and unpredictable, but exposes the vehicle to crashes by making it impossible to come up to speed quickly- especially bad when turning left across traffic. This is the exact same problem that Toyota issued recall 10V176000 to correct in Apr 2010. Unfortunately, that recall only covers early build 2003 Sequoias and mine was built two months outside the window. This recall needs to be expanded.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #137

Mar 122015


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While reducing speed, the traction stability control sensor illuminated and the vehicle suddenly failed to accelerate. After stopping the vehicle and restarting the engine, the vehicle operated normally. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V176000 (electronic stability control). The contact stated that the vehicle experienced the same failure listed in the recall. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #136

Nov 152014


  • 110,000 miles
While driving at about 55 mph, the ABS, track control sensor lights came on and suddenly the acceleration stops I press the pedal to accelerate and there was no response I could not accelerate so I turn my emergency lights on, and accelerate again and this time it worked. But it's been doing that on everyday basis the mechanic said is the vehicles computer, is there a recall for this problem" can someone help"

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #135

Oct 162014

Sequoia 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I am experiencing the same vsc problems as I read in the other complaints, along with other electrical issues. Randomly (or so it seems) the vsc, brake lights, drive light and others will go on and off. It has been doing this for about a month now and every time I go to take it in for service, they aren't on and they "can't find anything wrong."

- Forest Ranch, CA, USA

problem #134

Sep 152014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
First the check engine light came on, then the vsc off light followed immediately by the vsc trac light. The problem is intermittent, as the lights only stay on for a day or two then don't come back on until a few days later. I have checked the recall database for my vehicle and it is not included, although this problem has been recalled on other vehicles matching my vehicle's general description. I live in a very wet area of the country and rely on this system to work properly. From what I can read through online forums, Toyota needs to take a look at every vehicle that is experiencing this issue, as it appears to be significantly more widespread than first thought.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #133

Sep 172014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
I have been having this issue with the electronic stability control with my truck for several months. I have taken it to the dealer 3 times and they have been unable to determine what the problem is. They first told me I had to replace my shocks and springs all the way around. That didn't fix the problem. As far as I can tell they don't have any fault codes to work with from the computer. I live on a windy road in the mountains. Everytime I go around a turn, which is all of my road, the traction control kicks on, the brake peddle pulses and the breaks grind until I come out of the turn and my wheels are straight. Just in time for the next turn. This is very dangerous. I can't stop my truck fast if a deer or other wildlife runs across the road. This happens all the time.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #132

Sep 042014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Going around a turn in the mountains at a slow speed, my traction control kicks in and there is a grinding noise, I loose the use of the brakes completely until the traction control turns off. I took it to the dealer and they told me my springs and shocks were bad. I replaced all 4 of the springs and shocks and the problem persists. This is very dangerous and scary.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #131

Jul 312014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 161,980 miles
The vsc, and trac, and brake lights all lit up while coming into an intersection, where I heard a grinding clunking noise in the drive train, as I tried to stop the vehicle, coasted through the intersection, made others braking to avoid me as I steered away from them. This has happened intermittently over the years but this was the scariest, as it happened going into an intersection. It has happened backing out of our driveway several times, on the highway several times. Toyota doesn't want to tie this issue to the recall regarding the vsc ECU trac light recall from several years ago. I've tried unsuccessfully to escalate this issue with Toyota motor co.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

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